In 2004 it looked like Bethlehem was in for a long hard struggle. The pine forest on the hillside overlooking Bethlehem had been cleared and replaced by settlements for aliens from distant lands. It looked then like Bethlehem was being turned into a museum, somewhere for tourists from hotels on that hill to go, devoid of inhabitants. The Church of the Nativity remains full of Israeli bullet holes, including in age-old murals. Yasser Arafat’s plea to us was “you must restore the Church”. It seemed a sincere heartfelt wish which he saw as a priority.
This is a report for 2007 amd if you look back it gets worse – far worse year on year. And this is not Gaza run by Hamas.
Bethlehem Campaign 2007
“Israel is strangling Bethlehem – Tourists are told “go at your own risk”; and no Israelis are allowed to come to Bethlehem, so there is total harassment, but Bethlehem depends on tourism. The noose is getting tighter around Bethlehem and Bethlehem is becoming more and more isolated. Over 95% of its inhabitants are not able to visit Jerusalem or parts of Israel. These people have difficulty visiting other cities in the West Bank and cannot travel to Gaza. So the Palestinians are being separated from themselves”.
Bishara Awad – Principle of Bethlehem Bible College
This year again we would like to ask you to support the people of Bethlehem trapped behind the apartheid wall. The economic outlook is worsening and access to basic needs is getting increasingly difficult. Please use the information below to campaign and spread the word in the period leading up to Christmas. Everybody who will be celebrating this Christmas needs to be reminded of the ongoing Israeli occupation and the apartheid system imposed on the Palestinians in the Holy Land.
Sites to visit for further insights into the Holy Land now:
* Amos Trust – Bethlehem Pack “Voices from the Ghetto 2007” with information, poems, songs and alternative Christmas Carols.
* National Geographic – Article and photo gallery in the current issue: Bethlehem 2007 A.D.
* Banksy is back in Bethlehem:
* PSC Concert on the 7th of December 2007: Voices for Bethlehem
Book your tickets now for the annual PSC Christmas Concert
VOICES FOR BETHLEHEM
Friday 7th December 2007 7pm
Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church
235 Shaftesbury Avenue London WC2
This is the annual Palestine Solidarity Campaign Christmas Concert to highlight the situation of the people of Bethlehem locked behind the wall. All funds raised will be used in the campaign for Palestinian people’s rights.
Seasonal readings by acclaimed author Ahdaf Soueif
Traditional English choir songs and carols from
The London Finzi Consort
Music by Tunisian singer and Oud player
And Palestinian singer Amira Dibsy
Advance tickets: £10 Full price // £8 for concessions (unwaged and PSC members)
Tickets on the night: £12 Full price // £10 for concessions (unwaged and PSC members)
Children Under 12 accompanied by adults: Free
Available from the PSC: by card please phone 02077006192
Or send a cheque to PSC Box BM PSA WC1N3XX London.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Box BM PSA
Tel: 020 7700 6192
Fax: 020 7609 7779